[This is a post by Vikash Singh.] I love the way Janine Benyus put it a few years back, " if we were migrating birds, this would be our staging ground, where we come and talk about what we hatched this year and what breeding was like."
A conglomeration of the intelligentsias of the sustainable movement convened again this year in San Rafael, CA for an inspirational weekend of moving speakers (Van Jones, Majora Carter, Winona Laduke ), educational sessions, and motivational stories. The event was also beamed out to 17 other satellite conferences taking place across the country.
A memorable display, and prayers by the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers was an omnipresent reminder of the indigenous people that continue to fight for mother earth and the preservation of their way of life against the tentacles of globalization. The merger of social justice issues with those of the environmental movement have long been a theme at Bioneers and we continued to see that played out in emotionally riveting stories as presented by Earth Rights founders Ka Hsaw Wa & Katie Redford. Their work exemplified a significant step for the movement, as it was the first time that an Oil Corporation (Unocal) was sued for Human Rights abuses overseas, and guess what by golly - they WON!
Bioneers for many of the sustainable conferencing folks and activists alike is a great reminder of the reason we all got involved in this green game. For most, it puts the fire back under the pants and provides fuel to continue pounding the pavement and gettin 'er done on the frontlines, behind the scenes, and in the day to day. Bioneers reminds us that as environmental issues continue to infiltrate mainstream media headlines, it's imperative that we see the synergy between people, planet, and profits and that all sustainable movements are interlinked and reciprocal. Oh, and that it's proper to give standing ovations before a speaker comes onto a stage, while they're on stage, and oh hell, just keep on clapping till they've long left the stage! Ah, so much love in 'ol Marin.
See also this great video of William McDonough speaking at Bioneers 2000.
[This has been a post by Vikash Singh.]